How GIS can change our view of design

July 4, 2008

In this month’s RIBA Journal, Anne Kemp, Head of Atkins Geospatial makes an interesting comment about the ability of the latest technology to integrate CAD (Computer Aided Design – the conventional design tool for architects, normally used at the building and small urban design scale) with GIS (Geographic Information Systems, normally used for viewing, manipulating and mapping spatial data to analyse relationships between data in the larger scales). Dr Kemp suggests that integrating the geospatial with Building Information Modelling (BIM) allows the users to model “seamlessly between the building and the outside environment”. This development has clear relevance to our discussions about designing within an aging built environment and integrating new sustainable solutions into urban infrastructure. She states that “geospatial technologies can provide the framework for sustainable masterplanning to enable evidence-based decision making in relation to all aspects of sustainabilty, including energy, water and material use, and socio-economic impacts…” (page 62).


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